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|Written by Julie St. Cyr|
|Tuesday, 30 September 2008 19:00|
There is a Sex and the City episode in which Miranda goes speed dating, and, after scaring off her first couple of prospective suitors, she begins to lie, telling them she is an air stewardess. My speed dating experience was kind of the reverse.
Last year, after a bumpy break-up, I decided the best thing to do was to jump back in with both feet. Even though I balked at the price, I put down my credit card for a chance to meet 12 guys in two hours, at a bar where I usually find the men too pretentious to talk to.
I ended up sitting in a booth, complimentary drink at my side, making seven minutes of meaningless small talk with a string of forgettable guys. And then, in walks… let’s just call him Shadi, because that was actually his name. I’m not feeling creative enough right now to come up with a clever fake. And besides, his name is already one letter off from being "Shady".
We hit it off right away - cute guy, piercings, the only one who looked like he bothered to change after work. Anyways, he sits down, we talk about what we chose to wear that night, and then he asks me what I do for a living.
"Law school, but I don’t think I want to be a lawyer."
"Yeah? I went to law school too!"
In fact, he says he went to the exact same law school as me. A coincidence but, based on his job, it makes sense. There are a lot of former lawyers in his field.
After I sit through several more rotations of pretty much the same conversation I’d been having all night, Shadi asks me if I want to grab something to eat.
It was only after we’d left the speed dating that I started to feel like something was off. I couldn’t describe what it was, but I decided I’d better ask a few more questions.
"So, what were your favourite classes?"
"I don’t know. I didn’t really like any of them. That’s why I’m not a lawyer."
"OK, so do you remember any of your profs?"
"No, I can’t remember any right now. I’m bad with names."
This guy claims he only graduated three years ago, which seems like a pretty short time for total memory lapse. I list off just about every single prof I can think of, and he doesn’t seem to know any of them. Thankfully, my phone rings, I claim some kind of emergency, and make my escape.
Of course, that’s not the end of it.
The speed dating company had given him my number. When he called, I confronted him with my suspicions. He swore he was telling the truth, but that I had every right to be suspicious under the circumstances. He offered to email me scans of his transcripts as proof, to which I agreed.
I guess I called his bluff, because the transcripts never emerged, and he never called again.
The thing is - this guy didn’t have to lie. I already liked him before he said he’d been to law school, and, when I googled him, I found out he had a decent job, and some interesting hobbies.
So why lie?
I’d be flattering myself if I thought he’d pulled a Miranda, and was just saying what he thought I wanted to hear. I’m pretty sure it’s a little more mundane than that.
All of us, when we’re out at a bar, or at a party, are disguised as the version of ourselves that makes us feel most confident. (I have a friend who relies on a pair of glasses that he swears improves his batting average.) With Shadi, it was just that his self-esteem was so low, he had to make up a whole new self to feel good. When you think about it, it’s actually very sad. It is also not the best plan of attack, because the other person is bound to catch on to the deception sooner or later, whether it be on the first date, or the fifth.
Though I could also be totally off the mark here. Maybe nobody at speed dating intends to get to the fifth date. Maybe it’s the new venue to meet for one night stands. There was another guy there who said he was a firefighter, and nobody was buying that story.
Maybe next time I’ll be an airline stewardess. But do I work for Air Canada or WestJet? I have to get my story straight.